Monday, April 26, 2010

Going home

It's the little things that affect me. On the bus on the way home there was one of those upsetting little vignettes. The bus stopped outside a MacDonalds and passengers trooped on including a small girl, perhaps eight or nine, with the obligatory MacMeal and drink.

"Sorry love," said the driver, "you can't come on here with that."
She put the goodies into the carrier bag she was holding.

"Not even in that, love. Too many people leave it all behind on the bus so we're not letting anyone come on with them."

One of the other passengers had a go at him - "Aw, come on, man, she's only little" - but he was adamant. The girl turned and walked away. As we passed her she gave the bus a glance I know too well.

I can understand the driver's position. More often than not the buses on this route are middens. I'm not talking about the occasional crisp packet or pop bottle, I'm talking serious past-your-ankles litter. And yet... and yet...

There must be a better way of doing it. She was young enough to be told that the driver wanted to see what she was bringing on and that he'd want to see that she was taking it all away with her. Or something.

I'd like to imagine that when she got home that girl had somebody to tell the story to who'd then give her a hug, tell her it didn't matter and then give her a jam butty and a cup of tea. I'd like to imagine that.


Anonymous said...

Well, yes, I'd like to think that, too. But I'd also like to think that she could have gone straight home(on the bus) to a proper tea, not a Macmeal. Latch key kid, perhaps?

(Has anyone found Kaz yet?)

fairyhedgehog said...

That's so sad. I can imagine how rejected and embarrassed she might feel.

Nota Bene said...

....harsh...poor lass...

Scarlet Blue said...

Maybe there should be more litter wardens everywhere? I'd do it. Nothing pleases me more than playing happy with my black rubber gloves my bottle of detox. There is a role for us fetishists.

Charlie said...

Just one more chapter in the 500-volume set of BS (bureaucratic syndrome).

I wonder what precludes the bus driver from sweeping out his vehicle at the end of each run. BS, I know.

Kevin Musgrove said...

moreidlethought: almost certainly, there's a lot of it about round there.

(not to my knowledge :-( )

fairyhedgehog: my thoughts precisely

Nota Bene: yup

Scarlet: don't get me excited, I'm spill me tea

Charlie: the ten-second interval he's given between pulling in to the bus station and setting off again with a new load. )-:

Madame DeFarge said...

That's killed it now. Next step, hanging around walls and waiting for an ASBO. It's the moment she turned.

Gadjo Dilo said...

If only she'd tried to get on the bus with a jam butty and a cup of tea in the first place. That would surely have melted the driver's heart, and he'd even have smiled, lifted his cap to her and said "Mind how you go, young lady".

Lulu LaBonne said...

I'm feeling quite sorry for bus drivers at the moment, last bus I was on a male passenger sprayed the bus driver with his can of beer as got off.

zmkc said...

It's such a lottery who a child gets as parents - and that bus driver must have had sympathy removed as part of the training. Your post almost made me cry - what a sad world it evokes.

Kevin Musgrove said...

Madame DeF: I hope not. There's a lot of good out there, on the quiet.

Gadjo: you're probably right.

Lulu: I've seen that more than once myself.

zmkc: it certainly moved me at the time.

I wouldn't want this to be about knocking the driver, though. He was in a no-win situation: if he let the kid on, against the new strictures, and anything came of it he'd have had the bollocking from the bosses. And to be honest this bus route isn't notable for the civilised behaviour of too much of its clientele. I just wish he could have been able to use his judgement in this particular case.

Woolly liberal fence-sitter, that's me.

Pat said...

Call me hard-hearted Anna but even sweet little girls have to learn to follow rules although I would probably have let her get on the bus with the junk put in her carrier bag.
If one child can learn not to eat in the street it would be good.